Sales objections, send fear through the hearts of many new sales people !
Have you ever experienced the following ?
You are in front of one of your biggest accounts. You've asked the right questions and gave a dynamic presentation. So much money hinges on this client's answer. Your heart is beating rapidly. Your hands feel clammy. The time has come to ask for the order. You take a deep breath and say, "Let's do it!" But, the client pauses and says, "I’m just not sure. I need to think about it. Call me in six months." End of the road? No! Sale in six months? No! More than likely the client is ready to buy and is just afraid of making an immediate decision. If his fears were eliminated, he'd buy now ! This is where your objection handling skills come into play.
So, why do so many salespeople leave with no sale?
They never learned about hanging in there to get the sale.
This web page is an introduction to the types of sales objections.
Whether you've been selling for a day, a week, or a number of years, you know that no matter how good your persuasion techniques are whenever you make sales calls, there are obstacles to making a sale. That’s why these skills are so important.
So why does this happen ?
Well, if you were selling the perfect product and made the perfect sales call objections would not come up. Since neither you nor your product are perfect then it’s likely that you’ll encounter them.
Objections are a natural part of the selling process. If there are none, it could mean that the prospect is apathetic. Objections show interest and enable the salesperson to give more information to the prospect. The more information the prospect has, the easier it is to make the sale. Hence sales objections are part of the process that results in the prospect getting the information he needs to decide to buy.
What do some well know sales trainers think about this ?
"Champions have almost an affection for even the peskiest objection" (Tom Hopkins)
"There is no such thing as an 'objection,' and therefore there is nothing to 'overcome."' There are only questions. (Plotkin,).
I can stay resourceful and creative if I only ask myself, "What's great about this question?" (Robbins)
"Objections are the rungs on the ladder to sales success." (Tom Hopkins)
Aim to develop a positive attitude towards objections so that you truly welcome them.
Remember, every product has some problems.
"There's not a product or service on the market that doesn't have some built-in objections and at least a few minor problems." (Hopkins).
You will never sell anything that doesn't have some weaknesses that couldn't be improved.
So, study the weak points and turn them into advantages.
While it is almost guaranteed you will get sales objections if you’ve failed to established need, rapport, credibility or trust, objections are really your opportunity to sell.
They give you insight into what the prospect is thinking, a chance to focus on the major issues that concern your prospect, which allows you to plan the next step of the sales presentation and turn those objections to your advantage in order to make the sale.
Dealing with them is all about being prepared. You must know how you plan to turn around each objection you face and since they are simply the manner in which prospects communicate their status in the buying process they’re crucial to understand.
There are three forms: conditions, stalls, and true objections.
Let’s look at them in turn.
A Condition is: A valid and legitimate reasons for not going ahead with a sale, a reality condition that prevents the person from buying: can't afford it, doesn't need it, etc.
Sometimes a customer does not have the authority to make a decision. Perhaps the company needs to get permission from their overseas parent company to spend that amount of money. Or a decree from the CEO prevents the Purchasing Manager from making a purchase at that time without referring to the CEO.
These are conditions. Often, nothing you do in these situations will result in a signed contract. The key is to ask questions that determine the nature of the condition, and then schedule the appointment for a time when the condition requirements have been met.
We simply need to identify true conditions, face the reality, swallow hard and both quickly and courteously disconnect from trying to force a sale. If we become too emotionally involved we will lose the objectivity to detect this. By becoming an expert qualifier, we don't dampen our enthusiasm by trying to overcome a condition that can't be overcome.
The real secret to handling conditions is to find out about them as soon as you can. It's better to discover that Dad wants to approve the house before you put the buyers in the car. That way, Dad can come along and see that the house they choose is really the best one.
The benefit of handling a condition up front is that you don't waste time overcoming sales objections that do not exist and selling to people who aren't in a position—or don't have the authority—to make the decision.
You'll recognize the most common form of a stall with these words: "We want to think it over." Or “I’m too busy to make a decision right now.” There are many variations. The key to dealing with these objections is to recognize the customer's statement is a stall, so you know what to say.
This is perhaps the most common objection. It stands to reason, then, that the strategies you use for countering Stalls are going to be a major factor in your success as a salesperson.
Whatever the cause for the stall, handling it isn't a science, it's an art. The art is in helping the customer see that you truly accept and understand their hesitation. Acknowledge that you heard them. Ask questions, start a conversation, draw them out. “I understand why you might want to think it over since it is a big commitment.” Probe. Ask questions that might reveal what is really stopping them. For example, "Are you concerned with the terms?" Maybe there is something that I was not clear about when I described what the job would entail. Maybe I can help by answering the question now. What was it about my estimate that you wanted to think over?” Your goal is to determine the underlying objection. Often, you'll get a reply that helps you uncover the real objection so that you can handle it.
It is always easier answering the question now rather than later because usually there is no later. This type of approach should enable you to start up the conversation again and help make the prospect feel more comfortable about giving you an affirmative answer now.
When you listen beyond the prospect's words, you'll often realize they are trying to camouflage their real concern. Perhaps a buyer or seller is afraid that if they tell you the real reason they don't feel they should make a decision, you'll handle it. Or maybe they are trying to avoid confrontation. By telling you the truth, they take a risk. It's much easier than saying, "We're not sure we trust you."
A couple of special types of the Stall are:
The Doubter's Maneuver, when your prospect won't (or can't) decide the questions you put to them--and is unwilling to suggest someone else who can. It's a toughie, because a variety of factors can lie beneath this objection, from low self-esteem on the part of your prospect, to bad organization within the company. (What if you're dealing with a small business that really has no "purchasing agent" or "office manager"?) and let's face it, overstepping one's authority is not a key to success in business. If you're speaking with someone who traditionally has never made a decision, it will be very difficult to convince him to adopt an aggressive approach to his business problems.
The Reassurance Request, where the prospect asks for a sign of credibility from your side. It's still an objection, but it requires that you listen carefully to what the prospect is really saying, so that you can offer him the information he needs to proceed with confidence.
Now let’s look at True Objections.
(I have added one to Zig's list)
1) "I don't have enough time,"
This objection can be turned around on itself. Often you can say that your product or system will save them time.
2) "I don't have enough money,"
This is best handled by using the Contrast frame and re-establishing Value.
3)"It won't work for me (it works for everyone else but it won't work for me),"
4)"I don't believe you."
5)“I have no need for your product”
These objections can best be handled by bringing on your witnesses.
Linguistically you can use the “feel-felt-found” approach.
You know, “ I can understand that you feel that way. Jim Smith felt that way too and let me tell you what he found…”
If the client doesn’t believe you it could also be a good idea to concentrate on rebuilding rapport.
6) “I have no need for your product at the moment”= No urgency
The client does see some utility in your offer but has other more pressing priorities.
In this instance you may need to go back and build the value of your offer while accentuating the negative side of not acting now.
What sales objections cause you the most trouble ?
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